A good understanding of your vehicle’s idle air control valve can stop a rough ride and save you time and money. As automobile electromics get more sophisticated, a small motor called the idle air control valve or IAC showed up under the hood. The idle air control valve is a part that interacts between an automobile’s computer and the throttle body. It can be cleaned wuth these steps.
Step 1 – Locate the IAC
To fix an uneven idle or stalling engine, you may have to clean or change the idle air control valve. It is a unit of the electrical system on most modern vehicles and is found next to the throttle body. Trace the air cleaner hose across the top of the engine to where it connects to the engine. Remove the hose using a screwdriver or the proper socket to expose the throttle body. The idle air control valve will be adjacent to the throttle intake.
Step 2 – Removing the IAC
Before performing any work on the electronic system of an automobile, disconnect the battery cables. This should stop any danger of shock or damage to parts. The IAC valve is attached to the engine with four bolts or screws. A cone-shaped tip protruding from the valve is called the pintle, and it extends through an opening into the throttle body ahead of the butterfly valve. As the pintle moves in and out of the IAC valve, it regulates the amount of air coming into the throttle, thereby increasing or decreasing the vehicle’s idle speed. Movement of the valve is activated by the auto’s electronic computer. Three wires are connected to the part: one for current, one for a ground, and the other one leads to the computer. Remove the four retaining bolts or screws, as well as the wire assembly, and carefully pull the valve away from the engine. Mark the wires to ensure proper reassembly.
Step 3 – Clean the Valve
Spray the unit with choke/carburetor cleaner and use a cleaning rag to take out all carbon buildup from the idle air control valve. Work the spindle back and forth to clean away all deposits available there. Equally clean the throttle body while the butterfly valve is exposed.
Step 4 – Reassemble the Unit
When you are done cleaning the IAC and throttle body, change the valve to its original position on the engine. Ensure that the pintle fits again into the throttle’s airspace. Replace the bolts and screws and secure them tight. Reattach the wires to the proper terminals. Visually check the unit to ensure it is properly assembled and replace the air cleaner hose to the throttle body. Fix and tighten all screws and bolts using a wrench, then reconnect the battery cables.
With a clean idle air control valve, your vehicle should run smoothly. It is great if you test drive it before going on any any long road trips.